Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gritty's Scottish Ale

Perhaps, the fourteen inches of snow that fell earlier in the week impacted my choice to stay local, with the next brew selection for the blog.  I was needing to feel the comfort of being with others, after being isolated & stuck at home with the little duo during the storm.  The Scottish Ale proved to be a perfect choice, both psychologically and physiologically.  While drinking the beer and eating a reuben sandwich with sweet potato fries, I felt as though I were at a pub without the "hassle" (ex: finding a sitter, changing out of pajamas, staying awake past 7pm etc.) of going to one!  The beer not only physically warmed me up but it truly made me smile & warmed my psyche. 

This double warmth propelled me to think of the unique places I have been in my lifetime, with friends, enjoying "interesting" conversation over a pint or two.  Speaking of unique places, I will mention one here that I thought of & would recommend visiting, if you ever find yourself in Vestal, NY: The Ale House otherwise known as the "Beer Joint of Your Dreams!"  A hidden gem for that region, if you're looking for a quick bite to eat, with a cold pint (they have an amazing selection from all over the world) and both good company and conversation. (Their website can be accessed under Mom's Malt Barley Resources.)

Back to the review, the Scottish Ale is from a local brewery, Gritty McDuff's, located in Portland, Maine.  Here are a few points to note, after scoping out Gritty's website (listed under Mom's Malt Barley Resources):
  • Gritty McDuff's was established in 1988 
  • It started as a small brew pub in Portland's Old Port (bonus, the husband works in the Old Port)
  • There are now three breweries state wide: (Lewiston/Auburn, Freeport (home of LL-Bean) & Portland--I have been here with an 18 month old--very kid friendly with a unique eating area with long tables that promotes sitting with strangers & making new friends)
  • The pub brewery in Portland (my next to neighboring town) produces five classic ales: Sebago Light, Portland Headlight Pale Ale (note Mom Factoid below), McDuff's Best Bitter, Best Brown Ale, and Black Fly Stout 
  • Gritty's releases many seasonal ales depending on the time of year, so every January they release their Scottish Ale--which typically means a strong dark ale
Taste: I detected a bitterness but not too strong or hoppy; the malty flavors fill the mouth with each sip
*hints of sweet butterscotch pop onto the palate
Color: a deep bronze like a rich caramel 
Thickness:  heavy on taste but not thickness--thin to medium body
Will it help me sleep better?  absolutely as it boasts a warm 6.3% ABV
Mom factoid: The Portland Head Light, located at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth (one of the coolest parks I have EVER been to), is the most viewed lighthouse in North America.  FW has a great playground & with the ocean in the background you can't beat the view!  If you are in the area, stop by for the view of a lifetime. For more information go to:

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